Goodbye, Gadhafi: A Dream Made Into Reality | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Goodbye, Gadhafi: A Dream Made Into Reality

Play associated audio

Sarah Burshan is a student at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Thursday, Oct. 20 is a day I will never forget.

My brother woke me up at 5 a.m. He kept repeating, "They got him, they caught Gadhafi!" I was so dazed, I didn't believe it. A world without Moammar Gadhafi? It seemed too good to be true.

I was born in Kansas, but I have always been a Libyan. Before I was born, my parents were active in the opposition. When my father finished high school, he knew that the only options for those opposed to Gadhafi were jail or death. He chose instead to leave the country.

After he left, he and my mom were married. It was a big wedding, and all their friends and relatives attended. The only person missing was the groom — the wedding was in Libya.

This morning, my whole family was speechless. I called my father, who was so excited he couldn't think of anything to say to me. Later, he was interviewed on Al-Jazeera. "Do you feel like you're dreaming?" they asked. "It's too good to be a dream," he replied.

This has been a long process. We were hopeful when the protests began. My mom began to shop for furniture. I told her this was no time to redo our house. But she told me, "These things are for our home in Libya."

We called my relatives in Libya. My uncle cried on the phone: "You can come home, you can come home!" He doesn't know his nieces and nephews. He doesn't know his own siblings. They have lived in a different world for over 20 years.

But then, things turned violent. We began to hear reports of Gadhafi's crimes against the Libyan people. Our hope began to fade. Then reports that Gadhafi's sons had been caught turned out to be false. Each time we got bad news, we felt that our hope of a free Libya were getting further away.

So when I called my grandmother in Libya today, she was crying — but this time with happiness.

I'm taking a year off from school this year to help out and volunteer in Libya. A year ago, moving home would have seemed crazy. Who would want to live in a country run by a dictator, where the youth have no dreams?

But today, it doesn't seem ridiculous. In fact, it's just starting to seem possible.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Native Alaskans, Holiday Menu Looks To The Wild

Thanksgiving menus traditionally celebrate the bounty of late fall. In rural Alaska, that means walrus, moose, fermented fish heads and Eskimo ice cream — salmonberries mixed with Crisco.
NPR

Why American Honey Importers Are Wary Of 'Turkish' Honey

American honey importers say they've noticed an odd surge in cheap honey from Turkey. They think some of that honey really came from China, which is subject to U.S. trade restrictions.
WAMU 88.5

Forthcoming MoCo Legislation Targets Smoking, Alcohol, Pinball

The start of Maryland's General Assembly session is a little less than two months away, but state lawmakers are already crafting bills that propose certain alcohol and tobacco regulations. And pinball.
NPR

In Darren Wilson's Testimony, Familiar Themes About Black Men

Wilson's descriptions of Michael Brown reminded some people of negative depictions of African-Americans in history. Recent studies suggest these perceptions have deeper psychological roots.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.